How to Level Up Your Business
Every business changes over time. But how can you be sure it’s the right moment for your business to evolve? And, perhaps even more importantly, what should you do to reach the next stage of success? (Whether that means more money, more visibility, better projects or even working less.)
At DesignGood, we’ve helped countless clients level up their businesses. Based on our experience, we’ve identified some common signs that it’s time to level up, as well as the most effective actions you can take to do so. Be sure to read until the end of this article, where we’ll tell you about a tool that can help you create a clear path forward.
6 Signs It’s Time to Level Up
1. You've changed.
Life moves pretty fast for us entrepreneurs. When you’re busy, it can be hard to notice and appreciate everything you’ve accomplished. So take a minute to catch your breath and think about all the ways you’ve grown and changed since you started your business. You might realize things like:
- You’re not the “new kid” anymore. You’ve built up deep and impressive experience in your field.
- You’ve learned a lot. Because of all the books you’ve read, certifications you’ve earned and conferences you’ve attended, you now have a level of expertise that’s pretty darn rare.
- Different things drive you now. Perhaps you used to be drawn only to big-name clients, but now you realize it’s more important to you that your projects involve some aspect of social good.
You may also realize that your business reflects who used to be, but not the “new you” with your evolved experiences, knowledge and passions.
2. Your Clients or customers don't energize you anymore.
If you’ve changed, it only makes sense that the ideal audience for your work would also change. For example, if you’re still working with clients who hired you when you were just starting out, they may not need or value all of the expertise and experience you’ve acquired since then. In other words, the status quo of your business relationship still works for them. But it no longer works for you.
3. You're not engaged.
You may feel like you’re just “going through the motions” in your work. You just don’t get the same satisfaction as you used. Or you may find that you’re taking on lots of tasks (like bookkeeping or social media posting) that help keep your business running, but that don’t match up with what you’re great at and what you love doing.
4. It feels hard to get noticed.
Some businesses reach a certain level of success without paying a lot of attention to their brand or to audience outreach. But then they hit a plateau. What got them where they are isn’t enough to get them where they want to go. You may know that you’re doing great work, but you aren’t getting leads on your dream clients or customers, or you’re getting passed over for opportunities you’re more than qualified for. For some reason, the right people aren't finding you.
5. You're dreaming big.
You’re having lots of “what if …” thoughts: What if you wrote a book? Or created a course or a podcast? Your “someday” goals are starting to feel more like “I could do this in the next year” goals.
7. The numbers just aren't working anymore.
You’re getting plenty of clients or customers, but your business isn’t creating the income you need.
5 Proven Ways to Level Up
Which of the above statements feel true for you and your business? And it’s totally okay if you answer “all of them”! We love that you’re ready to grow. Whatever is driving you to level up your business, here are five strategies that consistently pay off for our clients and that can help you evolve, too.
1. Communicate your expertise.
Now that you’ve noted all the ways that you’ve grown and changed since starting your business, it’s time to consider another question: Are you making your expertise, experience and passions clear wherever people encounter your business and brand? For example, does your website look and sound like it belongs to someone who has your impressive track record? Does it feel polished and professional? Or does it seem bare-bones and dated? When you fully own your gifts, skills and experiences, you attract customers or clients who specifically want what you can deliver. Communicating your expertise enables you to do more of the work you love for the people you love working with.
2. Get some things off your plate.
To take your success to the next level, you need the time and space to do what only you can do in your business. That means getting some expert assistance handling the other tasks that are necessary to your business, but that don’t fall into your “zone of genius.” Remember, just because you can do something (like sending invoices or writing blog articles) doesn’t mean that it’s the best and most profitable use of your time. Bringing on team members or enlisting contractors frees up your energy to do the work you are best at — and that your target audience will pay more for.
3. Revisit your offerings.
If you’ve decided you want to pursue a different kind of client or customer, how well do your current offerings meet their needs? Do you need to discontinue any services or products, add new ones or package your offerings in a different way? Updating your offerings can also help you feel more engaged in your work again. For example, maybe in reviewing your offerings, you discover that your current services don’t leverage your full skills and expertise. If that’s the case, you could create new offerings that allow you to do more work that will challenge and fulfill you.
4. Turn intentions into actions.
This is especially helpful for those big goals that you desire deeply but that feel overwhelming — and all too easy to put off. Wanting to write a book (for example) will never get that book written, published and into the hands of the reader you know it can help. But taking just one step toward your book (or other treasured goal) clears away feelings overwhelm and unleashes momentum. That first step makes it easier to take the next one, and then the next one — and then, before you know it, you’re hosting your book launch party.
5. Create a magnetic brand.
If we had to tell you just one thing to do to level up your business, we would urge you to invest your time, thoughtfulness and other resources into building an authentic and customized brand. We often describe a brand as being like a vision board for your business. By making your dreams and goals tangible, you create an energy that calls in success, whatever that looks like for you and your business.
Take the Next Step Now
We hope that this article has filled you with a sense of excitement and possibility about what your business can become. To turn those positive feelings into powerful actions, sign up for our online course More Flow, Less Hustle. This course incorporates the exact steps, strategies and practices that have worked time and again to create real results for DesignGood clients. You’ll get clear on key foundations of business success, like your unique expertise, the specific audience you want to serve, the needs of that audience, and what they can expect from working with you. Learn more and enroll now!